When you think you don't have a story to tell | Marvelous Mundane

I never dreamed of becoming a writer. 

I never imagined my name gracing New York Times best-seller lists, lining shelves at Barnes and Noble.

Oh, there’s the green notebook full of scribbled stories from seven year old me.

The letters bursting from boxes stacked in the basement, memories of far-reaching pen-pals.

Duct-tape wrapped journals dripping with teenage angst and emotion.

A paper trail of family newsletters written over Christmas break by giggling cousins, filled with inside jokes and clever jabs.

Or the days I read the dictionary for fun, thumbed through the yellow covered thesaurus (it’s not a dinosaur).

Words have always held a fascination, a special magnetism.

And I'm long convinced words hold the power to change a life. 

I know, because these shapes dashing across a page, stretching across a screen, changed my life. 

These symbols introduced me to my heroes, those brave hearts who clung to God’s goodness and saw his glory in the world’s deepest darkness. And he is still the same God.

These words whisked me around the world, showing me just how small a perspective grows in a small-town, or how narrow it stays with a small heart in a big city. These words tugged my heart’s borders, scattering seeds of empathy and heartache. Where is God in this?

These letters all jumbled together unwound the confusion twisting through my mind. Those ordered words across a page organized the thoughts inside my head. They brought freedom, hope, truth. 

These lines are the way God spoke His words to me, to us. They daily, weekly, tell me God's glory, his presence, his power, his redemption. 

These stories connected my heart to the encouragement waiting in, "oh, you too??"

My own small world draws boundaries around our limitless God. My experiences build tiny boxes: this is how God shows up. I get stuck in ruts of my own digging, mindsets muddying glory and blinding hope. I’m lost in the blur of busyness, eyes tight to the ground, heart turned from heaven. I’m up to my neck in overwhelming mundane, drowning in unmet expectation, mourning those disappearing desires.

And in those moments, your story finds me. Your story sits in a flimsy paperback, fits in Instagram updates, shows up in shared Facebook posts. 

And your story screams loud, “open your eyes bigger! your heart wider!”

Your story reminds me how God reaches across the heavens and inhabits the earth with love for His creation. He is not far-off. He is not waiting. He is not silent. He is here.

When you send your story out across internet oceans, wondering whether it will reach one, or one thousand and one, you are sending out lifelines of truth, beacons of hope, raising lighthouses to glory: He is here!

Please keep telling your stories.

Telling a story with your life. 

And if you aren’t a words person? Oh friends, stories are more than words, stories are lives.

Your living is your story.

There are just as many ways to tell a story as ways to live a life: infinite possibilities.

Your story is woven across your art, showing beauty we overlook, holding up wonder we would have walked right past, oblivious to glory shining.

Your story glows through your adventures, your curiosity and appreciation, your care and concern for that overlooked part of God's creation.

Your story is displayed in your determination, your hanging on, your step-by-step walking through darkness and doubt, believing there is no cry unheard, no tear unseen. 

Your story sings through your music, heaven’s sound waves dancing through the earth.

Your story lives in your invitation, your open door, your open arms telling the story of the one who stretched his arms across a tree to reach you and me. 

Your story speaks in scrubbed toilets, swept floors, Walmart runs and laundry piles, because there is no job too low for the love that went to the cross.

Your story breathes through your questions, your ponderings, your fears, your doubts, your desires. Because these strings in our hearts are always tugging us back to the one who made us.

Your story is the many little choices of faithful loving those little hearts hanging around your legs. Your touch, your correction, your sacrifice all telling the story love came down.

Your story still glimmers in the middle of failure, it hangs on in when you just can't. Because you can never outrun the reach of redemption, and you can't fail a test that wasn't meant to be taken. He already passed the test, turned in and stamped with his own dripping blood. So when you lose sight of the story, know he's never lost sight of you. 

Because your story, my story, it's really his story. 

So when you don’t believe you have a story, know you are living in the middle of a story stretching from there to eternity. There is no insignificant story, no invisible story, no irrelevant story. There is no limit to your place in the story, because the one who holds the pen is the one who wrote the universe. 

Maybe our greatest limit is the tight cramped edges of our imaginations. Maybe what's holding us back is our sky-high confidence that what we see and what we know is what is. Maybe our weariness comes from grasping onto a pen we were never meant to hold, stressing over a story we were never meant to write on our own. 

We don’t have to stress and rush and imagine and plot a greater story. We need to open eyes and stretch hearts and lean ears and hold hands to the One who wrote the greatest story in us and tells the greatest story through us.

So please, keep telling your story